Tuesday, September 30, 2008

How interesting I really am.

You Are 56% Interesting

You are a fairly interesting person. Many people find you to be intriguing.

You have a dynamic, adventurous life... a life that others envy.

You are genuinely interested in and open to the world.

You love making new friends, and you're always up for an unusual experience.

Like everyone else, you can get a bit boring from time to time. That's normal.

But unlike everyone else, you can pull yourself out of a rut. You don't stay boring for long.


In my exuberance to get everything back to normal after I got rid of Ubuntu, I accidentally got rid of a whole bunch of images that I thought I had stored on my memory sticks, but it turned out that I had already removed them from there and now they are all lost to me. I am being somewhat lackadaisical about the whole thing and don't at all see it as the disaster it could really be. I know that I can get the photographs of my grandson and my daughter from her again and my artwork, well, that's gone and I will have to create new art from I don't know what sources, because a lot of that is gone as well. It is the kind of stupidity that I have not committed in a long time, so I am very forgiving of myself and I assume there is a reason for it and I will find out down the road what it is. Something about fate and karma and things in life happening for a specific cause and all that. There is no such thing as an accident.

Today has been a 'let's pretend there is no household to take care of day' and it has suited me very well. After I saw my SPN in the morning, I took a long nap on the sofa and I needed that, as emotional exhaustion needs taking care of also by getting some extra sleep. I had slept on the sofa before I went to see her and had gotten up just in time to get ready and walk the Überhund before I had to leave. Sleeping a lot always signals some sort of turning point for me and I hope this one does too.

I've lowered my dose of anti-psychotic medication back to the normal dose, as taking too much of it can make you somber and it is better not to take more of it when you are no longer hypomanic. I wrote my psychiatrist an email telling him I was doing this, but I have not heard from him yet. He has the final say on all my medication, but does give me some leeway when I use my common sense. I do have some on occasion.

I had to bicycle through the rain this morning, but it turns out that I have an indestructible hairdo. I have it trained and coiffed so well that it keeps it shape even when it gets drizzled on and blown about. You just don't touch it after it has gotten really wet, but let it dry and make sure you don't interfere with it. It dries like a little helmet on your head and then you can brush it into shape again quite easily, for it has kept its form. This works with short hair quite well and a very good hairspray, not the cheap kind anyway.

But now we have real Autumn weather and I have closed the little windows at the top of the living room windows and now I even have the heater on to take the chill out of the apartment. That's a first for this season. I have started to wear a scarf when I go outside and I have weatherproofed both my new jackets. Pretty soon I'll start wearing layers of clothes.

I had to get 2 pairs of leggings for my dance class and I got black ones and I am wearing a pair now to make sure I got the right fit and I must say that they are very comfortable. I enjoy wearing them a lot and can see myself wearing them when I don't go to the dance class. Maybe I will get more in different colors, but that means spending money and I think I've done enough of that for now and I need to stop doing that. I may look in the Hema department store and at M&S Fashion to see how expensive theirs are.

I just had my sister on the phone and she was short and to the point, saying in a very matter of fact way that she is not doing well, but that is just the way things are and what are you going to do about it. Not at all inviting to a discussion or an offer for help. So, I don't know what to do there. I am discombobulated.

I am unable to take the Überhund for a walk, because it is raining again and I have tried to explain this to him and somehow he has understood it, because he is sound asleep now. These are the dull gray and cold days of the Fall when the weather doesn't invite you to go outside and gather in the glory of the changes that are taking place in nature, although they are happening all around us. The worst part of it is the darkness of the day, which I fight by lighting the lamps in the living room to make it a bit cheerful in here.

Tomorrow is my ergo therapy class, then I have a one hour break and after that I have my dance class. I like moving to music and I don't think we'll be dancing the tango or the rumba. The more free flowing, the better. I do have feeling for rythm and melody and am able to translate that into the movement of my body. I can be quite uninhibited when I really forget myself and get lost in the music. I think it will be a good experience.

I do have to remember to bring my midday medication, as a matter of fact, I think I will use one of those little pill boxes that my mother collected and that I somehow ended up with. I just have a few of them and one of them will come in handy now. That is, if I can figure out where I've put them.

Alas, I need to end this post and get something to eat and possibly walk the Überhund using an umbrella, although that would mean he would still get wet and he doesn't like that very much. But he does enjoy getting rubbed dry with a towel very much and I have an old one especially for that purpose.

Take care, keep warm and dry, and don't let the lack of sunshine get you down too much.


Monday, September 29, 2008

A Dip.

I've been feeling in a dip these past couple of days, which is no doubt in reaction to the hypo manic period, but I hate to write about it, even though today I felt like crying every time someone so much as pointed at me and I did shed quite some tears spontaneously. I felt overburdened suddenly by everything and incapable of dealing with the most simple things, such as being creative during creative therapy. I had a good cry there and everybody was very supportive and didn't think it was odd for a normally cheerful person to have a tearful few moments. It wasn't a very productive class for me this morning, but I stayed and did my best to make something of it.

I went home to walk the Überhund, who must have picked up on my mood, because he was being very disagreeable and wouldn't listen unless I got very stern with him, which I dislike doing, but I had to. He wanted to walk into the street right in front of the traffic.

I got rid of the Norton Virus Scanner and downloaded the free AVG 8.0 virus scanner, which I have had in the past and which many people assured me was better than Norton. Then I ran a complete virus scan, but it only found some cookies and it took 40 some minutes to run the complete scan. I was watching it scan while drinking coffee and saw things come by that I had no need off and uninstalled them after it was done scanning. I saw Ubuntu come by too, which made me think and later on I saw how much space it took up and that made me think some more.

Then I had to go to the meeting with my SPN and the ergo therapist and discuss with them how things are going with me and the different therapies so my SPN is informed about what is going on with me. I had several tearful moments there as well, but the kind that make you feel better, I think, and it was decided that I should take baby steps and not run and that I should add dance therapy to my curriculum. I will start with that this week.

The road ahead can be as long as it needs to be, I don't need to go running head over heels down it. I can take my time.

Then, when I came home, I did something that felt very good to me and that I experienced as a liberating deed. I uninstalled Ubuntu and it was very easy. All I did was find the program and go to the uninstall button and click on it and the thing was done. It was mighty good. I think the borderliner in me doesn't like big changes and this was too big a change. I couldn't cope with it and it kept nagging me, not even in the back of my mind, but very much in the frontal lobes.

So, now I am back to the comfortable chaos that is Windows and that I know so well. Don't ever be fooled by me, I will tell you that I like fun and adventure, when I really like comfort and familiarity.

I abhor changes in my environment and everything that does change has to be done in little increments so that I can get used to it. Like having your husband suddenly not there again isn't a big thing, right? Well, maybe it wasn't.

So, anyway, that was what my day was like and the dip isn't over yet, but I'm fighting it. I think I will go grocery shopping now, even though it is after 7 pm. Well, why not, it will keep me occupied.


Sunday, September 28, 2008

Trying hard.

I have been trying very hard to get caught up on everybody's posts through the Google reader, but it seems to be an impossible task that I can never finish and every time I go to read some more, more posts have been added and I do feel ever so overwhelmed, so if you don't find a comment from me, it is either because I have not read you yet, or I have read you, but I did not have the time or energy to comment. I do get so discouraged by it.

There is of course the very distinct possibility that I read to many blogs, but I can not make a choice between which I should stop reading, because I think they all require my interest and curiosity. They all have something to add. I try to stay loyal to the oldest ones, but get side tracked by newer ones, and there is just no end to my list of reading.

On top of that, I have a tendency to get very sleepy when I sit behind the PC reading blogs and I have to watch out that I don't fall out of my chair in a semi coma. Not because the material is dull, but because I'm prone to take naps during the day and my body wants me to move to the sofa for a nice lie down. Another sleep inducing element is the Überhund who snores right by my feet and who makes you want to curl up and sleep too.

I have changed clothes three times today, because I could not get happy with what I was wearing. It either was too cold or too bright or to revealing, until I found the perfect outfit which is just right in all areas, I will try and take a picture of it later so you can see it and I will post it here, if my arm is long enough to show you enough of it.

I am so vain now, that the main subject of my photo taking is me. I try to take pictures of myself at the cutest angles with the nicest smile. You should see all the pictures I delete in which I look like the wicked witch of the east, was it the east? Anyway, they are the ones that are most unflattering, in which all my features come together as being those of a woman whose face was put together under most unfortunate circumstances. I am sort of like Lady Di, I am not really good looking, but on some occasions, I give the appearance of.

My sister is back from her trip to Greece and I saw her just as she came home and her suitcase was laying half unpacked on the living room floor. She said she had mixed feelings about going on the trip by herself and would go on an organized trip the next time. I am sure I will get to hear the whole story some time next week when she has a spare moment.

Her dog was very happy to see her and did not move from her side and wherever she sat down, he laid down and rested his head on her feet and sort of mumbled with happiness. He expressed his happiness more than the children did. That's what dogs are really good at, unconditional love.

I am cooking rice in bouillon for the dog and me and I added a bunch of different spices to go with it to give it some special flavor. I am going for as much eastern flavor as I can and I hope it turns out okay. I can't add meat and I don't have any vegetables in the house, so it is just rice. I could have added fried eggs, but the last egg I have is a fossil and very badly needs to be tossed out.

Somehow I need to expand the variety of foods that I eat and that I can share with the dog if it turns out to be too much for me to eat. I need to take my time one of these days and walk through the store leisurely and see what sort of things I can come up with. It has to be all vegetarian and the vegetables have to be very soft. Onions would do and canned tomato chunks. I am getting pretty tired of eating the same things every day and I want some changes in my diet. If I base it on rice, that would be good, because rice is easy to digest.

They sell good ragouts at the store that I could mix with rice and they sell ready made Indonesian rice. That may all be worth a try. I must have a closer inspection of these things.

Thank goodness tomorrow is creative therapy, I do look forward to that so much. Nothing nicer than spending the whole morning being artistically challenged. In the afternoon, I and the ergo therapist have an appointment with my SPN to see how things are going and the option of me taking extra classes is going to be discussed then also. I know my SPN is trying to get me ready for the real world and I think my ergo therapist wants me to do a bit more therapy.

In the end, it all depends on what the expectations of social services are of me. I see people in therapy on disability incomes who are not worse of than I am mentally and I do have a double diagnosis and it is still unknown how well I will perform in the real world. I do fine in a safe and sheltered and predictable environment, but how will I handle the pressures of a job? That seems like an unreal and unimaginable situation to me and I don't know how to prepare myself for it.

The rice was very good. Both the Überhund and I enjoyed it very much and it is all gone and it had a very nice flavor, so I blended the spices well. No doubt he'll have to go for a walk next to unload all that food.

Well, those are all the kindly and good words I had to direct to you today. Oh yes, I didn't tell you about those forms I was upset about and now I don't feel like it. I will tell you tomorrow. I am less upset about them now, after the explanation of the Exfactor.

I hope you all paid attention to my profile picture, because I am about to change it again, I think.


Saturday, September 27, 2008


Today I decided to devote the afternoon to me, so after the Exfactor came over to look at some paperwork that had me quite worried and which I will tell you about tomorrow, I decided to have an afternoon that was solely devoted to me.

The weather was great and there was not a cloud in the sky, so I hopped on my bike and rode it downtown, where I was smart enough to park it in the official bike parking underground. I didn't want to be caught bikeless at the end of the afternoon for a second time and so did a lot of other people, because the underground parking was very full. I think there isn't enough bike parking in his town and they are just going to have to make more of it.

Anyway, the first place I went to was the Hema department store and I leisurely walked around it for a while until I found a purse that just had to go home with me. It is black and has two zippered compartments up front, under the flap, where I can keep my wallet and my camera, so it is perfect. It has a long strap, so I can wear it across my chest and feel secure in the fact that nobody is going to rip it off my shoulder. After I paid for it, I moved down the counter and immediately transferred all my stuff from the old purse to the new one and I walked out of the store feeling quite perky.

Things I didn't buy there were an electric water boiler, a thermal teapot and an on sale duvet cover. Savings...quite a bit.

I blew all the savings when I went to my favorite clothing store and right when I entered saw a multicolored top that just begged to have a purple long sleeved stretchT-shirt underneath it, which I found. Then I went to look at their jackets again, because I had a hunch that more of them would be on sale, and I was right. I tried on about 6 different ones, but ended up buying the one I tried on first, which is a brown leather jacket that was on sale for the price of a potato and an egg, so that had to go home with me also.

You see how these items of clothing call out to me from the racks on their hangers to be taken home by me, that is, if I find the one that is perfect. Once I find the one that is perfect, there is no sense in me hanging it back into its place, it is totally useless, because by that time I have bonded with the item and I find it impossible to let go of it. As a matter of fact, I'll wear it out of the store and have the saleslady cut off the tags while I am wearing it, no matter how hard they are to reach. I figure she's got to do a little bit of work to make that sale.

To celebrate my good fortune, I went to Café Monopole and sat on the terrace there. Here is a picture of it.

I had a cappuccino there with a chocolate and a cookie and a piece of rijstevlaai, which is something you will have to google yourself to see what it looks like. I only ate the filling, because of my gastric band, and that was more than enough. The cappuccino was delicious and I had a fun time watching the people walk by. For afters I had a glass of dry white wine and that went down quite easy too. I do so like sitting on terraces by myself, because I can determine how long I sit there and what I have to drink and how slowly I drink it. I have none of the awkwardness of a woman on her own and none is directed to me.

After that I started to wander around town a bit and took this picture of the fountain on the big square, although now on the picture it looks like a puny fountain, when in reality it has quite a bit of spray.

In the background you can see the Spanish Guard building, left over from when the Spanish ruled here back in the 16th century into the 17th century, until we kicked them out after the 80 Year War. One of my ancestors fought in it and luckily was on the right side. He was protestant. I am sure more of them did, but I don't know about them, I only know for sure about this one because it is documented.

Then I came upon these carnavalesque figures and of course, I had to take numerous pictures of them, because they are not always decked out that colorfully and I don't know for which occasion they were. Normally they are just in their bronze nakedness.

I will spare you the boredom of having to look at more than one of them, so we can move on to the next picture and that one has the oldest private dwelling of Maastricht on it and is now a café called In the Old Ostrich. It is the building on the corner where all the flags are waving for I know not what reason, except to be patriotic and jolly and happy.

You can see how we have such a café culture here, especially in the better seasons on the terraces, but even in the winter time when the weather allows it, we will sit outside with burners going to provide heat and big parasols to keep us from getting wet if it just drizzles.

Anyway, then I walked to Armor Square, which is just a little square that supports a few cafés and shops and restaurants. There's the column with Armor standing on it. I don't know the story behind it, just as I don't know about a lot of Maastricht's cultural history. Shame on me!
And here is a little side street that runs into it that I thought was just pretty and a little Mediterranean looking, especially with the green vine climbing up the side of the building.

Then I got into the expensive shopping area. You can tell, because of the lack of people walking around. They shop more discretely than the rest of us. Here is where I almost ran into André Rieu, the famous violinist and orchestra director and he smiled at me when he passed me, because he saw I had a camera in my hand and no doubt he thought I was going to ask if I could take his picture, but I didn't, because I am not like that. I will never ask someone famous to pose for a picture, I find it highly embarrassing, both for me and for the famous person. So, I walk past them without barely a glance and I don't look around. I walked past Harry Bellafonte that way too.

As a reward for my wandering around downtown I went to 't Pothuiske, where the Exfactor and I went in the wintertime and where I had hot chocolate. I sat at a small table outside.

I ordered a glass of wine and noticed the sign right by my table that announced they had 12 kinds of beer in barrels on tap. That's quite something.

When I walked back to the underground bike parking, I ran into this swinging band and I could hear them from a distance. They were quite good and another one of those inexplicable things that happen in this town that I don't have an explanation for. Things just happen, I don't know why. There is always a party atmosphere. Music happens, bands happen. Clowns appear out of nowhere and stilt walkers and I don't know why. It's all a mystery to me.


Friday, September 26, 2008

An Award.

Diane Clancy has decided with her whole kind heart and everything, to give me an award for which I am very grateful. It has been a while since I have gotten one, because at one point I decided that I did not want to get them anymore, but I have changed my mind recently and become greedy again. I am undecided if I should display the awards that I have gotten so far in my sidebar, or if I should show an award once and leave it at that. It's a decision I'll have to make some day. Anyway, here is the award:
Now comes the hard part, I have to give this reward to seven other people and list them here and link to their blogs also and leave them a message on their blogs. This is where it all gets very tricky you see. Try to think of only seven people I would give this award to is hard, so today, I am going for some unusual choices, people you may not have heard of before.

Here they are in no particular order and I am not going to mention the individual's name, as it is not always known to me. The blogs I am giving this award to are:
A round of applause for them and for me for getting that part done. Now all I have left to do is go to their blogs and leave them a comment.

Oh boy, I think I am finally recuperated from installing Ubuntu and I am trying to figure out if it was all worth it. I think I will give it a week of working exclusively with it and then decide if I like it or Windows better. I think I have to get used to the way Ubuntu works. It is so simple and bare and not at all cluttered with things the way Windows is. I feel like I am missing things that I should keep looking for.

I think that for my photographs download I will keep going to Windows, unless the Exfactor comes up with a solution like he said he would. He was here yesterday to take a look at it all and to bring me a very small pair of plyers to repair my necklaces with, some of which had started to fall apart. Luckily, all of them while I was at home.

I slept a lot during the day, on the sofa and the Überhund was mighty confused. He does however sleep on his sheepskin rug and shares it happily with the cats, because there is enough room for everybody. It was a brilliant idea to put it under the coffee table, if I say so myself. I think he feels safe there and it is close to where I sit usually.

I have been wearing my high tops almost nonstop, because they are so comfortable and the next time I am in that store, I must look to see if they have another pair in my size, which they didn't when I got these. It would be good to have a spare pair around in case I wear these out quickly. I think they are cool enough to wear a lot and to safe my boots for when I really get gussied up.

Today I am expecting my last expenditure, a gray long sleeved tunic that is a size 44 and that will hopefully stop my spending spree for now. Unless I find many cheap things at the second hand clothing store. Anything is possible.

Today I must go to the tobacco shop and I really should go grocery shopping, but if I don't make it today, I can go tomorrow. It all depends on when the package gets here.

We are having some sunny days here. Not quite summery, but pleasant nevertheless. In the mornings it is cold, but when the sun gains in strength, it get positively warm. I thought I had lost that jasmine that I had transplanted to the pot out front, but there are some new little leaves on it, so I am hopeful that it will be okay by another few weeks. It is winter blooming jasmine, so it should be showing some growth this time of the year.

The poor cats have run out of Perfect Fit to eat and now have to eat ordinary Felix cat food and they don't like it. They have distinguished taste. They have been spoiled by me to think only the best is good for them and they are right. No food additives and no food coloring and other junk. Gandhi is my case in point, the less she barfs, the better the food.

Well, except for the awards, this has not been a very exciting post, but I can't always be such a sharp and witty humorist. Sometimes, I am just plain dull.

Have a good day people, I think I will yet have a nap or two in me.


Thursday, September 25, 2008

How did I get here?

I am sure that the last 24 hours have for the majority been taken up with setting up Ubuntu into the tiniest details and I have discovered that whatever Ubuntu does not let me do, Windows will still allow me, like the download program to my new digital camera, which I can't get to use in Ubuntu, although I am sure someone will tell me there's a trick to it. I haven't found it and I'm too tired to try.

I did find a music player that for some reason, unbeknown to me, but very welcome to, down loaded all my music from the real player in Windows and is now playing it in Ubuntu, so that was a nice surprise. It has it arranged alphabetically by artist, so that is convenient too and not all haphazard they way I had entered it. Now, when I want to listen to Björk, I listen to all of Björk until I am sick of it and change to another artist. And so on, and so on.

I did take a nap this afternoon on the sofa for a few hours and that was mighty pleasant. That was after the delivery man brought the Überhunds sheepskin and bag of new food that I had ordered, It is called Dog Chow from Purina and I have never seen him wolf down his food so quickly. That is a definite hit! I stood looking on in amazement as he emptied his whole dish.

The sheepskin is kind of a popcorn fart and doesn't amount to much. I have to put a folded up blanket under it to give it any substance, but the Überhund seems to be happy with it and the cats too and that is what counts.

I need to go to sleep now or Iĺl fall off my chair.

Have a happy day.

Early in the morning.

Well, I have sat here all night fiddling with Ubuntu, getting some things to work and figuring out other things, but having a heck of a time getting onto my own dashboard to write a post and that has something to do with cookies and I can't seem to get the thing tweaked right. I got in now by a back door, but it may not work a second time. There are still things I don't know how to do and that bothers me, because I don't like to not know how to do things. Something stubborn in me rears its head then and I keep going until I have it figured out. I'll be darned if I don't find out how to do it.

The Überhund finally gave up on me and went to sleep in the bedroom. He came out briefly very early and had a pity party, but I was not kind to him and told him to lay off and quit the noise and he did, much to my amazement, and then he went back to the bedroom. I have no time for shenanigans, I am doing important stuff here. The future of my PC interaction is at stake.

Actually, when I start up the computer, I have a choice to go with Windows XP or with Ubuntu, if I don't do anything, it goes to Windows by default. The start up screen of Ubuntu is very pretty. It has a stylized heron on it and a nice color background, very artistic. Ubuntu is an ancient African word that means 'humanity to others'. It is mine to share with whoever I wish to. Completely free of royalties.

I can't believe I stayed up all night and I am not in the least bit tired, just a bit cold, so I'm wearing an extra cardigan.

Yesterday, I bought a pair of high tops for 6,95 Euros at a very cheap store. They look like boxer shoes and they are black with black laces and they are very comfortable to walk the dog in. They have zippers on the insides, so they are easy to get on and off. What a bargain, huh? Oh, I love to make a good deal.

My daughter called me yesterday and there was a small chance that she was going to have her electricity turned on again that day after all that time. My grandson has not been to school all this time and my daughter has taken him in to work whenever it has been possible. She said that right after the hurricane, the downtown area looked like Armageddon had happened. An insurance adjuster was going to come by her house yesterday to look at the damage to her roof and see how much it would cost to get it fixed and all that good stuff that needs to get settled on.

Her dog wasn't in the least bit scared when the storm just kept whipping and howling around their house endlessly. Their cat was in a cozy place inside. My daughter did say that it was as if there was never going to come an end to it, it seemed to last forever.

The Überhund keeps coming out to see what I am doing, but he has not dared to ask for a walk or anything. I must take him out now, though. It is not fair to him if I keep sitting here like a maniac. A fanatic woman. I knew I would get this way once I got started on this darn thing.

Okay, I'll be good now and take the poor animal out. It will be good for me too.

See you later today, maybe.


Wednesday, September 24, 2008


It is 10:30 in the evening, but I have managed successfully to install a version of Linux called Ubuntu on my PC. I am not quite done adding all the fine touches to it yet, but the majority of the work is done and I was smart enough to print out all of the instructions before I installed the CD, which wiped out everything that was on the computer before that. I had also copied all of my bookmarks and printed all my email addresses and I still have to enter all of them.

Ubuntu has a lot of built in programs, so you can look through a whole variety of them and add them as you feel the need or remove them as you see fit. There are several choices of the same sort of programs, so whatever suits you best, you can try.

I got the email program to work. That was my main concern and I have two email addresses and I got them both to work, so that is good. It receives all the mail for both addresses in one place, so there is no hopping back and forth like there was before.

I wasn't sure when I got the CD in the mail yesterday, if I was going to go through with it, but then I had a memory stick and I started putting a bunch of artwork on it, and when I ran out of space I went to the computer shop and bought another one and put the rest of the stuff that I wanted to save on that one. Once I had done that, my mind was made up, and in between walking the Überhund a few times, I installed the program.

It wasn't nearly as scary as I thought it was going to be. I mean it wasn't anything traumatic. The sky didn't come tumbling down all of the sudden. A lot of junk that was on Windows is gone now, but I won't miss it. A lot of it is not necessary anymore, like the virus scanner and the add aware program that looked for cookies. I think that, as I get used to it, I will discover which extras I want and which I don't. It will be fun trying out different things. I am also happy to leave some baggage behind me that I felt was adding unnecessary weight.

So, I'm off to a clean start and I'll sit here until the wee hours of the night and add all sorts of information and photographs and what not. It will be fun and I don't have to go anywhere in the morning. And by the way, the Ubuntu CD is free, it costs nothing and no shipping charges either. Mine came from the UK.

Well, now I'm off to add bookmarks to my favorites. Then maybe I wil do email addresses and maybe do the installation CD for my camera. We'll see how far I get.

Ubuntu to you and a good night too.


Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Full of Joy.

I just checked my banking account with a certain amount of trepidation in my heart and the tiniest amount of unwillingness to face the dire truth, but oh, my heart is full of joy, because the tax people have, without telling me, deposited 4 months worth of health subsidy in my account and now I am better off than I thought I was. Oh, hurray, I said a little 'thank you, Lord' when I saw that, and I'm not really religious. At least I am not when I am supposed to be normal. I forgot all about getting that money and it is going to make such a huge difference in how I get through the month.

Well, every cloud has a silver lining and I think my clouds usually have one. I must never complain too loudly, because so far, there has always been a solution, even when it has not been the most elegant one. I am still living, breathing, eating, sleeping under a roof and having normal days without fear of disaster. That's something anyway. There are a lot of people who don't have that.

This morning, after I had been up for a few hours, I decided I was still sleepy and went back to bed and fell sound asleep until the doorbell rang and the Überhund started to bark his head off. It was a delivery man with a package for me and I asked him, quite befuddled, why he was delivering packages on Sunday. He looked at me very surprised and told me that it was Tuesday today. I felt like I was in the Twilight Zone and completely discombobulated.

Very quickly I went and made myself a strong cup of coffee and smoked a cigarette as deeply as I could and saw that it was time to take the Überhund for a walk, but I was walking around in my pajamas with a sweater on top and socks on and I had a wrinkle in my face from the pillow.

So, first I had to make the transformation into the hip chick that I am when I go outside and I tried to wash the wrinkle out of my face with cold water. I only half succeeded and applied make up and disarranged my hair until it looked floppy and tousled enough, and hair sprayed it, resulting in sneezes from the Überhund. He does insist on watching the process.

When I was dressed properly, I was also quite awake and, even though I really needed more coffee, I bravely stepped outside the door with the Überhund at my side, from which point he proceeded to try and drag me through the neighborhood to all the best places to look for scraps of food, because it had been trash day and he thinks there are edible items in every bush and under every leaf in every gutter. Try and pull 45 lbs of dog in the direction you want to go in.

I finally resorted to getting very angry and scolding him, which helped for the rest of the walk. It helped so well, that he got a reward as usual when we got home and he did ask for it very nicely.

I ordered a fluffy sheepskin with a rubberized backing for him to use in the living room and I think I will put it under the coffee table, because when he is not with me, he seems to like laying there the best. I hope he will like it, but it was not very expensive and I am sure the cats will like it a lot. There may even be arguments about it. I am sure that Gandhi will claim her corner of it and the Überhund will grudgingly allow it.

I am still very pleased with my hair and send admiring glances at myself whenever I pass a mirror. Oh yes, I think, there she is with that new hair color and that really cool hairdo. I think I really forget that I am 54 years old and that I am now having a revival of my youth and am indulging in it in a grand way. I am so happy that I don't have to dress my age and wear nylons and corsets, although a corset does do great things for your figure. It's just the constraint I would dislike. Like being harnessed in and not having any breathing space when bending over. It's no wonder there used to be so many swooning women.

Autumn is definitely upon us now, there is no denying the fact any longer. There is a chill in the air and a crispness that makes the leaves change color. Already some come tumbling down. It will be quite a spectacle as usual and it will be my first autumn as a single woman and I want to specifically be aware of that and really taste the season very consciously and let all the changes not go by unnoticed.

For some reason it is very significant to me. Maybe because in the past years I have gotten depressed around this time of year and I have made up my mind that I am specifically not going to have that happen now, but look forward to it with a new found curiosity. It will be a time to walk around downtown and sit on the café terraces and watch the people go by and take pictures with my new camera in the chill of the afternoon sun.

You see how I have this all planned and I can actually envision myself doing this in my mind. I do need to pump up my bicycle tires before I go and do that. Remember the last time I tried that? Lesson well learned. Those cobblestones downtown are hard on your tires and push out the air with every bump.

Well, now it's time too have something to eat, because it is that time of day and it is inevitable that I eat, it is a stumbling block in the proceedings, that hunger feeling. I would rather not have it at all, but I suppose I would forget to eat all together and become a little skeleton woman. Ha, that will be the day!

Have a super one, everybody. I think it's raining in Greece.


Monday, September 22, 2008

A Dye Job.

After not having done so for quite a few years, because of the eczema on my head, I have today pulled on my brave boots and colored my hair. The eczema prevented me from doing so before, because the coloring mixture would burn quite badly on that part of my head, but my sister has given me olive soap to wash my head with and it is starting to work and my eczema is clearing up and I thought it was time to test the waters and satisfy my vanity, because a woman will do anything to look better than she already does, especially a woman with short hair who doesn't have a lot to lose.

So, this afternoon I went to the drugstore and with the help of a sales girl picked out a nice color that is called golden blond, which means it has the slightest hint of red in it. I was all ready for something completely different than the ash blond hair that is my own and that hovers somewhere between gray and blond. I thought, if it turns out awful, it will grow out in the shortest amount of time and I will only have to suffer for a little while.

I read the instructions carefully, but basically nothing much had changed since the last time I colored it, and very bravely I set out to slather my hair in the creamy concoction that I had mixed in the bottle. There was more than enough there, with my hair being so short and I piled it on, covering every teeny hair. It is impossible to see what your hair is going to look like while this stuff is in your hair, because it changes to a dark color that is no reflection of the outcome.

After I washed it out and had applied the conditioner and rubbed my hair dry, it turned out that I had a beautiful head of hair. I am so pleased with it. The color is just right for me and it matches my skin color just fine. I should have been born with it. So, one point for me!

Then I had to get my hair to look nice and casual and windblown, so I messed with it until I got the desired effect and I must say that I look pretty spiffy now and to celebrate that, I put on a whole new outfit, which only the Überhund and I can enjoy right now, but that's okay. It isn't wasted on us and I can parade around in it when I take him for a walk. All's well that ends well.

This morning I had creative therapy and I am done with the collages that form a book together. I have to tie the pages together with some sort of ribbon, but that's it. I am relatively pleased with it, considering this was my first project of its kind. I have gotten some other people enthused about the upside down images technique. It's been a great hit. People come over and look at my collages and want to know what I did and I explain it in the least complicated way, which still leads to confusion sometimes.

I like creative therapy so much that I don't want the morning to end and I almost have to be dragged away from the table and my project against my will. I very reluctantly leave and as far as I know, all the other creative classes are filled up. I have been offered a class in dance or music, the dance is free flowing to world music, the music is a lot of drumming and singing and making joyful noise. I don't know what to do and it requires further investigation on my part. Both classes require that you get in touch with your deepest emotions. I hope mine are of the joyful kind.

I had been shopping at the store most close to my house, but it is also the most expensive one and today, during our break, we were discussing supermarkets and what a difference in prices there are between them. That got me thinking that I should go further afield and look for a cheaper place to shop, so this afternoon I rode my bike for 15 minutes to a different supermarket that I had never even heard off and shopped there instead. I didn't have to get a lot of stuff, but I walked around a bit and compared prices and it sure makes a difference, their prices are a lot lower, especially on the store brands and who am I to say those aren't good enough in most cases?

So, with a little bit of physical input on my part, I will be saving euros with every shopping trip. It's not going to be fun in the winter time, but I will just have to do it and not be chicken about it. Wrap up real warm and peddle like crazy.

Tomorrow is apartment cleaning day. Oh, yippee! And looking at the bank account day. Oh, hurray! Tonight, I am done with being responsible. I may walk the Überhund one more time, but now I am going to watch the news. I must stay well informed, after all, and I am already running behind.


Sunday, September 21, 2008

A mellow broad.

It is amazing what the addition of one little pill can do to your constitution. I have gone from being an intense and somewhat fanatic woman, to being a very calm and serene one and I find that this state of mind that I am in now, is very agreeable to me and I let myself sink into it as if I am laying in a bed of rose petals.

That does not mean I am only capable of sitting here in a stupor and dreaming my life away. Au contraire, I do get things done, but in a very calm and orderly way, without the least amount of frustration and pain. I feel as though I am cushioned from sharp shocks to my system by a layer of soft bubbly foam and that this insulation is the kindest way for me to stand in the world right now.

I am also sleeping very well. I went to bed a 9 PM last night and slept until 8 AM this morning and I made myself get up, because the Überhund and I both had to take our medications and he had to go for his walk. I could have stayed in bed a few more hours and slept a little longer, which is a real pleasant thing for me to happen.

Although all along I have had a good time, I now feel so good about having a certain amount of tension gone and excitement. If I could grow old this way, I would definitely prefer it to the tough broad variety. I like this mellow broad I am now.

I haven't taken any photographs yet. I haven't been any place of interest yet and I want to decide what I want to take photographs off. I may take it to my creative therapy class tomorrow and take photographs of the people there. That's because I have grown fond of them and want some record of my time there.

I don't want to take all the obvious photographs of downtown, but I almost don't see how I won't, because it will all be a learning process of what makes a good picture and what doesn't. So, I will probably photograph a lot of standard things before I get to the really good stuff.

My sister is on her single vacation in Greece now. She'll be gone for a week. Her ex is taking care of the kids and the dog and I am staying well away from there in case I get roped into doing something, which I won't do. I say the man is a grown up and quite capable of shelling his own beans, as we say here.

I have accidentally taught the Überhund a new trick. When I am in the kitchen, he will very often bark at me from the living room for a treat. So, today I said to him, "If you want a treat, you have to come to me and sit very nicely and let me know what you want." So, now he comes into the kitchen and sits beside me and barks once and that means, "I want a cookie." He is too smart for words. His skull is not out of proportionately large to the rest of his body. I assume his brain is of the normal size for a dog.

The Exfactor is changing his style of clothing. he is wearing large hooded sweatshirts and baggy pants with zippers and pockets. It's a whole new Exfactor. I am watching this development in amusement and can't wait to see what sort of clothes he is going to wear next. I appreciate him developing a new style of his own, just as I am developing my own style, but I have been working on it for a few years and this one for the Exfactor is new, so it is very interesting. His dress jacket and his dress shoes are still in my closet and I don't think he is ever going to come and get them.

Isn't it funny how we influence people in the way they think they ought to dress when we really don't come right out and say so? Apparently the Exfactor thought I liked jeans and T-shirt and sweaters, so he wore those, when really those were not my first choice. I am glad he is doing what he wants now, although I sense an influence of the Paramount there, but that is okay. There is absolutely no harm in that.

I've developed my own style and I don't know who influences me, if anybody does. I think I just make up my own mind about what I like. I have some sort of vision about what I should look like and I find the clothes to match that. I am very lucky in that a lot of those kinds of clothes are available, the colors and the styles. I think shopping is the ultimate thrill and then wearing the clothess that you bought and trying to match them with as many other clothes and accesories as you have.

I am woman, hear me roar...

The Überhund is making 'take me for a walk' noises, so I suppose that'what i will do now. It is that time of day. It is like he can tell time by looking at the clock.

Have a good Sunday, you all.


Saturday, September 20, 2008


After I had been up this morning to walk the Überhund and to write the last post, I was very sleepy and went back to bed. I was just getting comfortable and snug under the duvet when the doorbell rang and it was a delivery person with a package for me. I knew what was in the package, because I had ordered it 2 days earlier, but I was too tired to open the box and put it down and went back to bed and slept for 3 hours. The Überhund slept on his pillow next to me.

Then, when I woke up and I had made myself my first again cup of coffee and lit my first again cigarette, I was ready to open the box, because inside it was my new digital camera with extra rechargeable batteries and a 2 GB memory card. Yes, I know how to shop right. This was one of my embarrassing spending money moments, of which I have had several these past weeks.

I bought a Kodak Easy Share C713 on sale and it has 7 mega pixels and a zoom lens and this morning I have taken a crash course in learning to use it with the help of the Exfactor whom I had to call, because I could not figure out how to fit the rechargeable batteries in the battery recharger. There was a trick to that, that I did not know of, because they were of a different size then what I normally put in there. The batteries that came with the camera, had to be put in ass backwards, which made me unable to get the camera started until I figured that out. I did figure that out on my own.

The Überhund does not like to be a patient subject for portraits and refuses to sit still and look adorable, but then again, I have enough photographs of him and the cats, so I will not be chasing them around and bothering them much. I had the Exfactor take some photographs of me and only one turned out well enough to be posted here, so here it is:

That's me in my leather jacket and I am sorry that you can't see my boots, but I had to crop the picture to make the whole thing more attractive.

So, I hope that satisfies your curiosity about me, it certainly satisfied my curiosity about myself.

Now I am going to do something useful like take a nap or walk the dog, which are two extremes and I may do one after the other.


A Tough Broad.

During my evaluation yesterday afternoon, I got such good feedback and compliments. As a matter of fact, I really need to stop and think good and hard about the things that were said to me and really let them sink in, because it is too easy to not pay attention to any of it and to totally disregard it. I think I was already starting to do that and that is like boycotting yourself.

The most important thing that I learned about myself is, that I can go astray emotionally, but as soon as I realize that I am, I immediately correct myself and take the necessary steps to get myself back on the right track again.

That's a very good thing to know about myself. That means I can trust myself to look after myself and that I do a good job of it. Who wouldn't you like to trust better than yourself?

It's very important that I know this with my whole being and never forget it. Amen.

The tax subsidy situation was cleared up very quickly and easily. I am going to get the first 4 months of subsidy deposited in my account now and the remaining 2 months will follow when it is time. That makes sense, because the bills for September have already been paid and soon I'll be paying those for October. By that time, I'll have the money. I do have to say one thing about the Tax Office, they are slow but accurate.

I made my way to Social Services by bike in the early morning cold and met my case manager for the first time face to face. He turned out to be a very nice young man who was truly apologetic about what had happened and wanted nothing more than rectify the whole situation. I think he needed to meet me in person to see what I was all about and visa versa.

Anyway, he gave me an advance in cash and told me he would also work out the proper amount owed and deposit that in my account without waiting for the accounting department to do their slow job and that he would see to it personally that the information in the system would be changed. I am going to trust that he will do that and I made clear to him that I depend on him to.

I had a good feeling when I left there and I assume all will be in order now, but, of course, I won't know until I get next month's specification. He may be a very nice young man, but still not do his job right.

It has probably escaped your attention that I have been a bit hypo manic lately. I don't know if any of that comes across in my blog or if you just see it as ordinary enthusiasm. There were warning signs here, within myself, but to me the one that stood out was me taking the tough broad role to such an extreme. I was pretty sure that I was starting to get carried away with that one and I wasn't sure where I would end up and then there was the spending pattern, which I am too embarrassed to talk about.

So, before I did anything yesterday, I called my psychiatrist for advice on his mobile phone and we increased my anti-psychotic medication by 2 mg. I should be calming down within a couple of days.

There is a fine line between being an assertive person and being a tough broad and maybe you can work out for yourself where the difference lies. I still want to be a tough broad, but in the responsible, assertive way. Not in the "I'll waltz over everybody" way.

I bought three little plants yesterday and put them all in one big black pot, so it looks like one big plant. I forgot to ask the sales lady what kind of plant it is, so now I must be a sleuth and find out.

Well, that wasn't hard at all. The plant is an Aglaonema Romeo, well suited for low light and low humidity. That's good to know, that means I can forget to water them every once in a while. The lady in the shop said to water them once a week, I guess I don't need to drench them. I hope they are as easy as my fig plant, which I throw water on whenever I think of it and it thrives.

Well, enough of this already. Time to get the show on the road. I must vacuum again and do laundry. Oh, joy.

Be good for goodness sake.


Thursday, September 18, 2008

A leather one.

It was my intention, yesterday morning, to go to those second hand clothing stores to look for a leather jacket and with that thought in mind, I hopped on the bus and took it downtown and got off at the market square. Once there, I started to walk in the direction I thought the second hand clothing stores were in, but then I thought that I might as well check out my favorite regular clothing store to see if they had any leather jackets and to see what the prices were. After all, I had no idea what those things cost and what would be a fair price for one second hand.

So, I changed direction and went to M&S Fashion and once there walked all the way to the back of the store were the jackets were and they had leather jackets alright. A whole selection to choose from and the prices were very reasonable. I tried on a couple, but came back to the one I tried on first which was on sale at 20% off. It was the one I liked best. It had a zipper opening and 4 smaller zippers on the front and it was waist length. I didn't need to think about it very much and I whipped out my credit card and bought it and wore it out of the store.

I felt like a real tough broad walking there with my boots and jacket on and I called the Exfactor to see if he was at work so I could go over and have a coffee there. I walked into that place as if I owned it and the Exfactor said that all I needed now was a Harley. This was a underhanded compliment, because he can't stand Harleys, but the secretary thought I looked great and commented on my weight loss. Apparently my face has gotten a lot thinner.

I had one cup of coffee and was out of there and walked through town to the bus station, wanting to try out my new image on the unsuspecting public. Well, let's face it, I didn't cause any sort of an uproar and nobody fell of their bike or anything. To the public, I was just an ordinary hip woman walking by, like there are so many of them. No big deal, really, but it was to me. I like wearing these clothes and I feel good in them.

When I got home, I had to walk the Überhund and he doesn't give a darn what I look like, so that was no problem. When we got back to the apartment, I had to do the dull ordinary cleaning stuff, so I had had my moment in the spotlight.

Then the mail came and let me tell you, it was a moment to hit the roof or go through it, because Social Services again sent me a specification that they were not going to give me any money this month, calculated on completely false information, the correct gist of which I had sent them 3 times already, so I called my case manager very angrily and asked him if they had all gone crazy there? He was almost speechless, because he realized a mistake had been made, but how to set it right?

To make a long story short, I am going over there this morning to get an advance on my monthly payment and the rest will be sorted out as quickly as possible. I am so disgusted, I hardly want to talk about it.

I also got a letter in the mail from the tax people asking me formally in which bank account the rent subsidy must be deposited, but when I looked at the total amount, I figured out that it was only for 4 months and not for 6 months the way it is supposed to be. So, I will have to make a phone call about that this morning.

Can you imagine how worried and discouraged I get? When you yourself do your best to do everything by the rules and then other people come along and rip the whole thing apart?

Oh, I am not going to waste anymore words on this. I am so full of frustration.

In the meantime, I am sitting here early in the morning with the Überhund at my feet, bound and determined to try and make this a day that will have a happy ending.

This afternoon I have an evaluation meeting with the therapy team of the therapy groups I am in. The head of the department will be there also, as will the assistents. I am looking forward to that, because that can only be a positive experience. Here is a group of people that has my best interest at heart and who want what is best for me. It's such a contradiction with what I experience in the other areas of my life and amazing that these things happen simultaneously.

Well, you know, I will stop writing now and hope I can be a little bit more upbeat the next time around. Argh!


Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Tough Broad Boots.

I couldn't find an exact image of my boots, but this one comes close. I have a bit more metal decoration on the straps, making them look a little bit tougher, I think, but either way, you get an idea of what they look like. They are very comfortable and I put them on in the morning and don't even bother taking them off when I get home like I usually do with my shoes to slip on something more comfortable. They sound tough too when I walk in them and I am even thinking of having the heels reinforced with a little bit of metal, so they won't wear down so quickly.

Anyway, you see how between the spiky hair and the tough boots, I just need to have a leather jacket for my whole image. Someone told me about several second hand clothing stores today where I may find one and they can also be found on the open air market. Wouldn't it be really cool if I got one? It would be so awesome. I need one with a lot of pockets. I am full of excitement.

Today was another ordinary day in the life of this 54 year old. I slept until 7 AM. Can you believe it? That is late for me and didn't give me much time to contemplate my navel, because I had to make cigarettes and walk the Überhund and get dressed and ready to go to my ergo therapy.

I thought about being late and contemplating my navel longer, but I really like to be there on time and spend some time out on the roof deck with the other smokers and drink espressos. It gets me in the proper mood and there is always somebody with a story that is interesting to listen to and you wouldn't believe how normal these people are. If you met them in the street or at a party, you wouldn't know that they were receiving intense therapy and taking medication. They're just an ordinary average slice of the human population. They could be anybody.

Today, 4 of us sat around a large sheet of paper with watercolor crayons and all of us had to draw whatever, but one of us had to try and control our act of drawing and we took turns doing that without speaking. It was very interesting what came out of that and how people interpreted what control is and how to implement it and how you decide to let yourself be controlled by another person. My interpretation of control is total dominance and to rule completely or to not let myself be controlled at all by not even giving the controlling person the chance to do that. So, it is all or nothing with me. Other people have no control over anybody, they just get waltzed over. They are too nice to do it. I am not too nice. Thank goodness, but I am not subtle, I have to learn that. I'm like a Tasmanian Devil and just scrawl that crayon all over the place regardless of who is doing what where.

We talk about these things afterwards and stop and pay attention to how we go about applying those 'skills' in our lives. Survival techniques. We are asked to look at them and see if we can do it differently. Huge lessons are learned.

I think we are way ahead in the game compared to a lot of people in the outside world who just go stumbling along, oblivious of their motivations and their limitations, constantly caught in the same traps. You see some people going through enormous changes.

The Exfactor was here this afternoon and I see him struggling with the same issues at his work year after year and never reaching any sort of resolution, but always getting upset about them and having them be a big subject of his conversations with me. Unresolved issues will gnaw away at you and leave you very frustrated and stressed, especially if they dominate your thoughts and you seem to have no ability to change them.

The Exfactor did bring his camera and take my picture, even though the light wasn't all that great, but you do get some impression of what I look like now. I must get a camera of my own, it is one of the first things I want to get as soon as I am financially more comfortable. I haven't quite decided what I want to get, but it has to be affordablle, of course. I like the camera that the Exfactor has, but I think I want to get something else. Something a little heftier.

I think it is fine if the Exfactor comes here once a week or so to drink a cup of coffee or two and have a talk with me. It gives me a realistic picture of how he is and not some idealized remebered one that doesn't exist anymore. It's good to see the real Exfactor and to listen to him talk and to know that that is not the person I want to spend my life with ever again. The Exfactor I fell in love with 15 years ago is gone and even the friendship that we had then is not there anymore. We've really grown apart and there is no use crying over spilled milk.

He did think that the idea of the party was a good one, as I invited him too and I said the Paramount could come, but he thought that she would not be comfotable with that, so he would come on his own. I have some people in mind to invite and the idea is slowly taking shape in my head. Maybe we can make it a happy divorce party, because it may just be possible that we will be divorced shortly. I am expecting to get the papers in the mail any day now.

The thing is, that I feel so very much divorced already and I am in all ways except by a formality. I think having my own name back was the clinger and using that on all paperwork now makes it very real and tangible. I really am this person named Irene Sieders and glad of it.

Wel, now I need to go check my bank account balance and see if my subsidies have been deposited yet and if they have, I can go grocery shopping. Luckily, it is almost pay day, but that is always such a fickle event that I never know when exactly to expect it. Don't let anybody ever convince you that it is easy to live on a governmental handout. There is a lot of stress involved. It would be much better to have a fair paying job.

Well, kiddos, make the best of what is left of the day. I think I will grab something to eat and get ready to watch the news after I see if I have any money.


Tuesday, September 16, 2008


Since I have been out of the running for a while when it comes to giving out and receiving awards, I don't know if it is a done thing at all anymore, but I am going to put my foot in it and hand out some awards to people whom I have recently discovered and who I think deserve a little token of appreciation.

I want to give the first award to Angelina Williamson of Dustpan Alley who does a great job getting people enthused about growing their own produce and preserving it also, but in a very excited and lyrical way, not so cut and dried as I put it here. I want to give her the following award:

Then there is a real personal favorite of mine, and it has nothing to do with the beautiful hand made cards that she sent me, of course not, and that is Diane of Pebbledash, who takes wonderful photographs of ordinary pretty things that nature has to offer right around her, and who is also very handy when it comes to arts and crafts. I want to give her this award, the now famous Mwah Award:

Feeling virtuous and good, I'll leave that part of the proceedings behind me and tell you that I've had a perfectly fine day. I did make a small error in judgment and thought I was awake at 3:30 AM, but I quickly found out that was not the case, as my head kept wanting to fall off my neck, and I went back to bed and slept until 9 AM and the Überhund slept even longer than that, proving my point that he can go for a long time without having to relieve himself, so the show he puts on in the morning is all shenanigans.

Then I proceeded to waste my first hours behind the computer instead of doing more useful things such as dishes and laundry and administration, but there was nobody looking over my shoulder and I thought I could very well get away with it and i did.

I was still waiting for the delivery person to come as I missed her on Saturday and on Monday, but she finally showed up at 2 PM and not only brought my green cardigan, but also my ankle boots that I had been waiting for for over a week. I tried them on first and they fit great and look great and I am a tough broad in them. I like being a tough broad. It's always been my ambition in life to be a tough broad and at times I have thought I was one, but mostly I was faking it, now I really am one and can fill these boots.

The green cardigan was a good choice and I have several outfits that go with it, so I am well pleased. I like it so much when I am put together well, but I especially like the boots as they do great things for my image, even though you can't appreciate their whole effect when they are hidden by my jeans. I have to make sure I sit down a lot and pull up my jeans a bit. If I cross my legs it works well. All I need now is a leather jacket and you now, that would keep me warm in winter too.

My nephew turned 14 today, so I went over there this afternoon wit the Überhund, who does not like to share me with so many people, but he has to learn. My nephew had gotten some super duper mobile phone for his birthday, the workings of which are a mistery to me, but I know it has a camera and a radio in it. I like my mobile phone uncomplicated, and oh, when mine rings, it sounds like angels singing in heaven, very ethereal. I like it when people ring me up on my mobile phone.

So, my nephew turned 14 and he is not a rotten teenager at all. He is a good kid. I would like to cuddle with him, but I don't think he would allow it, but he is very approachable other than that. He goes to the Atheneum, which is a high form of secondary school and he does his homework in the blink of an eye. Very smart, that kid is.

So, anyway, before I went over there, I didn't completely waste the afternoon. I got all my paperwork in order and filed and I had noticed how dirty the keyboard of the computer had become and gave that a good cleaning and it now looks brand new again. All sorts of things had been spilled on it by me, I can't blame anyone else.

I remembered to water the plants and the rubber plant is doing great, but I have my doubts about the heather that I have in the pots inside. I think they would rather be outside and they are taking on a petrified look. No doubt I'll be going to the plant store to get some plants that I can't kill to put there instead. Maybe something fake or something very hardy like 'mother in law's tongue'. I can't think of the English equivalent right now.

I find doing the dishes to be a very soothing job, because I don't have that many of them and there are no pots and pans. I wash and dry everything all at once and put it all away immediately. I've invested in some drinking glasses and now have enough kinds for when I have company and they are all nice and clean and neatly lined up in the cabinet.

But will I ever have company, that is the million dollar question. I sure don't seem to be in a hurry to make friends, am I? I sort of neglect that part of my life completely as if it is not important to me at all. I think I must plan a party and invite some people, I think that will be the best thing to do.

I am feeling like having something incredibly good to eat. I always get cravings at this time of the day and make a quick run to the super market to get something good. It's a bad habit that I have gotten into, but it is oh so pleasant when you want to indulge and the spirit is weak. I am not losing any weight as a result, but I am not gaining any either.

Right then, either way, I'll stop writng this self indulgent epistle and try to make a decision. It will be a toss up between good and evil. Between kind and unkind. Between indulgence and discipline.

Hav a great day, keep the boogey man away from you as far as possible. He comes in many guises.


Monday, September 15, 2008


Well, the really good thing about this mood change is, that I've gotten over feeling so chronically tired all the time. I now have enough energy to last the whole day, even if I get up early in the morning like I did today. I was up with the chickens and rattling away behind this old computer like it was an old Remington. I don't quite remember all the things I did, but it took quite some of my time and I was actually running late this morning and ended up having to get ready in a hurry. That meant taking the Überhund for a shorter walk and wearing less make up than I usually do, but nobody seemed to miss my eyebrows and since they are so blond, I think I will keep them that way from now on and pass myself off as a Scandinavian. I also wore less eyeshadow and I think it made me look younger and more innocent, and if I can look that way at my age, I don't know why I bother to apply all the artificial stuff to look better, when maybe I really don't.

So, this week I am experimenting with the minimum look and I want to see what people's reactions are, if any. I've got the trick with my hair down pat now. The thing is to brush it out in the morning with my head bent over and then to stand up and mess it up with both hands and then to spray hairspray on it. It only needs minor adjustments after that, and voilá, I have bedroom hair. I use Schwarzkopf hairspray, because it is like an invisible net of steel that holds your hair in place, even when you are on your bike and the wind is pulling at your beautifully coifed hairdo. The only drawback is, that you can't have a man lovingly run his fingers through your hair, but since I have no plans in that direction, it is no problem for me. I am only to look at, not to touch.

I have found, that I can now comfortably only eat half of what I was eating before the gastric band was filled again. Believe me, I tried to eat more, but was defeated after a few days and had to stop trying to eat the old portions. It seems that the gastric band settles over a weeks time into a comfortable place and then it will not allow you to do what you wish to get away with. I have hung over the toilet bowl quite a few times these past couple of days and I have to admit my defeat. Even the good little cookies at creative therapy are becoming problematic, which is a shame, because I always look forward to them.

I thought I was finished with my collages, but after I put the whole thing together, I realized there were some empty gaps. The page that said nothing but 'contents' in numerous ways, needed dressing up, so I applied upside down images of which I will remove the backs next week. The page that deals with my childhood, and that I kept deliberately bare and dull, was too dull and I changed it by writing my name on it with pen and ink right side up, upside down and side ways all over the place. I guess I want to own that page and put my stamp on it.

In the meantime, I have started another collage on a a large sheet of paper with upside down images that I am carefully choosing for effect. I may or may not add text to it, I don't know yet, it depends on what I find. There is a limited choice of magazines, although I have some new ones in my bike bag that I have to remember to bring in. That will give me some more choice for images and text. I think I have found my niche.

Coming home this afternoon, I found out that I had missed the delivery person and she had put the new cardigan in the mailbox and put a note in saying that she will be back tomorrow to pick up the other one. So, I tried on the new cardigan and I am not thrilled with it and have decided to go with something else altogether in green. I called up and ordered that and it will be here tomorrow and the delivery person will be picking up two cardigans that will go back.

I don't know why I thought I should have another cardigan in black when I already have two and suddenly it seemed silly and I came to my senses. Besides, every dog and cat hair shows up on black and I look like a baglady that way. Besoddled and unkempt. I will not go down in history as the lady that always was covered in dog hair. I do have some amount of dignity yet.

I think I've spent a large part off the afternoon walking the Überhund who can make very convincing and urgent noises that make me believe that his bladder is about to burst if we don't go out now this minute. He has very mournful looking eyes when he is in need. I dare not refuse him and give him a complex. I know that I will have several hours of absolute peace and quiet when I have taken him out, because he very contendly goes to sleep. He has such small pleasures and if going for a walk often is one of them, I guess i won't take that away from him. It is a nice break for me too, as I have a tendency to get very involved with what I am doing and I forget everything around me.

I think the change of mood is a survival mechanism for the tough dark and cold days ahead of us. Already it gets dark early at night and the temperatures during the day are not very high. It's not a kind season that is upon us now and maybe this is my reaction to it. First there was this desire to hibernate and now I have come out of my corner fighting and with an attitude that I will not be beat. I have to be a little bit more ruthless now. It is the survival of the fittest, after all. I do not wish to succumb to a depression. I have made that decision earlier in the year and I will do whatever i can to prevent it from happening. If that means having a big mouth and a chip on my shoulder, then so be it. I refuse to be a victim.

Well, it's time for the 8 o'clock news. I do have to keep up with all the important events. I have sent my daughter a message, but have had no reply. Batteries are probably running low.

Have a good one, you all.


Sunday, September 14, 2008

Black Box

The story of the Black Box that you find in my side bar is explained if you click on the text on the bottom of it. If however, you click on the word 'decide', a wonderful world will open up to you and you may have a new addiction. So, explore this when you have a little bit of time and a good hot cuppa something and maybe something to nibble on.

Well, you see I made the move back to Blogger, because there were some things, like the black box, that I could not get to work in Wordpress, leaving me always a bit frustrated. Wordpress had beautiful templates, real classy looking, but there was so much that it did not allow me to do.

In the process I have given my blog a different name, because I am a woman and I am fickle and I am entitled to that. No really, what I wanted was already in use, so I had to pick something completely different and it is fun to come up with something else and to give all of you something to do. You can't get much better than the most splendid day. Well, I suppose there is the most euphoric day, but I am not having one of those now. I am not even having a really splendid day.

My daughter managed to get an message out and she is fine, except that a tall tree landed on her roof, causing damage and needing lots of plastic sheeting to close the hole. She has no power, the streets are flooded, buildings everywhere are damaged, schools are closed of course, much to my grandson's delight, and it will take some time for things to get back to normal, but they are alright. That's the main thing. I knew they would be. They have a guardian angel. All my maternal instincts were right about this. Still, I breathe a sigh of relief.

I got another piece of writing published in Six Sentences and you can read that here. I've turned in some more things that will be published at a later date.

The Überhund is trying to pull a fast one on me and acting like he really needs to go out again and I know it's all a great big pitty party. He just thinks that if he whines pathetically, I'll drop everything and put my jacket on and grab the leash.

Well, I must eat now, because I think I forgot to do that, and take some pills too. Are you all happy that I'm back at Blogger? Will you have a party for me?


P.S. Vanity has gotten the better of me and I wil now accept awards again if anyone gets it into their head to even think of bestowing one on me. I will not display them in my sidebar, because of clutter, but I will show them in the next post. I'm humble, aren't I?


On a whim I’ve signed up with Twitter, because I read about someone else doing it. The problem is that I don’t personally know of anyone else who is signed up also, so it is kind of lonely out there. If you want to sign up and you are looking for me, my user name is ‘brightandsunny’. You know how impulsive I get and how I always want to try something new and hope that I will get some sort of thrill out of it. You didn’t know that about me maybe? That I am secretly a thrill seeker? In the very small sense of the word, of course. i only do it if the outcome is safe. That’s something I have learned as i’ve gotten older, to not take the really big risks.

Something is going on with my mood and it has been happening since Wednesday morning. I feel a decided slant of disagreeability sneaking in. I feel like arguing and there is an amount of negativity in there also. I am not so thrilled anymore with things and maybe that is why I joined Twitter, but who knows? I am negative about things that I was positive about before and doubtful about things I was sure of before and the thing is, that I know that I am not having a change of mind, but a change of mood and I have to be careful not to confuse the two and I have to not make any important decisions when my mood is negative like this, that’s the main thing to remember.

I think I am getting a bit dysphoric, meaning: a state of dissatisfaction, anxiety, restlessness, or fidgeting.

You will remember that I have had these sort of moods in the past, though I must emphasize that the restlessnes and fidgeting play no role here at all and the anxiety is at a minimum. I am just disagreeable to the point of being rude. I feel like being rude and disagreeable and not giving a damn. Like that is perfectly okay. Can you think of a better place to exhibit such behavior than on the Internet? Instantaneous gratification.

I have not heard anything from my daughetr yet, but assume that all is well. She had told me that if possible, she would get hold of her father, who lives in Oregon, but it turns out that I don’t have the correct phone numbers for him. So I am going to call her again later today, although I have not much hope of getting hold of her. I wil watch the live broadcast again later this afternoon, even though it is pretty meaningless and doesn’t help me a lot personally. It does give me a general idea of how things are there.

The sun is shining today, but it is very deceptive, because it is cold outside and fall has really begun now. I were a sweater under my jeans jacket and I am postponing wearing my wintercoat, which is not much thicker. I may have to invest in a warmer winter coat with good pockets for all the stuff I always carry with me. House and bike keys, kleenexes, poop baggies, odd change, mobile phone, my wallet if it will fit. I’d like to go through life without a purse, if at all possible, but sometimes I don’t manage that. My purse always slides off my shoulder and I feel like such an old lady clutching it in my hands.

There must have been some mix up somewhere and I got an invitation from the center for work and income to apply for a job as hostess at a healthclub answering phones, receiving customers, serving drinks, and answering questions about memberships. I am sure they were thinking of the wrong person and, besides, I am not to apply for any kind of job until January, when I enter into some sort of program to get back into the labor force after having been out of it for a very long time and also with special aid as a psychiatric patient entering the labor force again. I emailed back stating as much and have not heard anything since then.

When In Babylon, do not act like the Babylonians and do confusing and irrational things.

My dear and most true Überhund is bored and he translates this into meaning that he must want to go out, although it is not time to, but to make his life bearable, I will now take him for a short spin around the block, so I will see you in a while.

Well, it turned into a long spin around the blog and I am always secretly proud that the Überhund stays on the narrow sidewalk by the busy street and never wanders into the traffic, even though I don’t shorten his leash. He does know where the sidewalk ends. Also, some gentle tugs and one command from me get him going in the right direction, so he is full of goodwill. I think that tug of war that we had at the beginning, when the Exfactor had just moved out, was won by me.

I am now using the Google reader again to stay updated on the latest blogs, after I had developed a problem with it, which is now solved. It does save you a lot of senseless clicking around. I am going to add some new blogs to my blogroll, I will try and remember to do that after I have finished this. I find blogs of note does not always give you such very good blogs, but sometimes there is something there that is interesting. I am still waiting to show up there myself one of these days. I am not humble, am I?

I have put a bandage around my arm where I had those two scabs that I kept bothering and even now it’s hard not to mess with them. I want to scratch them when I exchange the bandage, but the little wounds are healing. The Exfactor had an enormous scab on his knee that had to be dissolved with some special plaster, because there was an infection underneath it. I would have had a field day with that one. I don’t know how he could stand not picking it off.

Well, now I am going to try once again to figure out that famous widget of the Black Box that everyone is so lyrical about. I could not get it to work on WordPress, but maybe there is a way I can do it after all. I am nothing else if not stubborn. WordPress does have it’s limitations, which makes me sometimes long for blogger and I have to give it a long hard think about what I want to do, maybe switch back again? We”ll see.

Have yourself a good Sunday.